Fulham have bounced back from worrying slump, says Dempsey
Thursday 06 January 2011
Clint Dempsey is confident Fulham have turned the corner after the 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday propelled them from the relegation zone to 13th place in the Premier League. The lower part of the table is congested, with Fulham one of eight teams separated by one win, but that makes goal difference vital.
Fulham have now taken six points from their three games since the galling Boxing Day defeat at home to West Ham, and the victory over West Brom was comprehensive.
Dempsey, who scored the second goal at Craven Cottage, said: "It's such a tight league that if we get a good run of results we can start to move up very quickly. Hopefully, we can do that now.
"The West Ham game was very frustrating but we've bounced back from that.
"In our last three games we've set a standard with our commitment and workrate. Now it is up to us to maintain that standard.
"It's difficult to play when things don't seem to be going your way, you don't get the rub of the green, your fans are frustrated and you find yourself in the bottom three."
Fulham responded to the West Ham setback, and fans' jeers, with a victory at Stoke and an encouraging performance against Tottenham before putting West Brom to the sword.
Simon Davies fired them ahead and a first home victory in six attempts was secured with headers from Dempsey and Brede Hangeland.
"You sense the frustration in the crowd but we have got ourselves out of that situation," Dempsey added. "Now players are coming back to fitness and as soon as we get a full team we'll see what we're capable of achieving."
Belgian striker Moussa Dembele could make his return from an ankle injury in the FA Cup tie against Peterborough on Saturday, although Andrew Johnson, with a minor hamstring tear, is unlikely to be risked.
Fulham's injury problems are not as grave as West Brom's, who had five centre-backs sidelined on Tuesday. A fifth successive defeat represented their worst run of results in six years but manager Roberto Di Matteo played down the prospect of any major moves in the January transfer market.
"First of all we need to get our players back, that is the most important thing," the Italian said. "It is difficult for us. We are a small club and we are trying to do our best with the resources we have. If we can do something we will do."
Di Matteo may still be without vice-captain Jonas Olsson for the FA Cup trip to Reading. But the Swede, who is back in training after an Achilles injury, is in line to return against Blackpool the following weekend.
West Brom have leaked 24 goals in 12 leagues games without Olsson and Di Matteo said: "He is a very important player for us. We haven't lost many games with him in the team."
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